Holiday Central

10 must-have apps for your new iPad

They might be made by the same company, but there's a world of difference between the iPhone and the iPad.

One's with you pretty much wherever you go. The other is a useful tool, but a bit less practical to take with you all the time.

The fact is: The iPad is often the tool of business people. It's an effective laptop replacement that has all the added entertainment benefits of a phone. And to fully take advantage of it, you'll need the right apps.

If you found a new iPad waiting for you this holiday season, here are some apps you should absolutely consider downloading immediately.


Photo Credit: FiftyThree Inc.

Paper (Free) — One of the chief advantages of the iPad over a smartphone is the screen size. Paper lets you utilize that to sketch drawings, create diagrams and take other types of visual (and nonvisual) notes. And you can share these with coworkers or colleagues via PDF files or Keynote/Powerpoint presentations.


Photo Credit: Magisto

Magisto (Free) — Video editing on your iPhone can be a little cramped, especially if you've opted for one of the smaller screen models. Magisto lets you easily create montages that include photos, videos and music with a variety of styles (both business- and lifestyle-oriented). The app also auto-detects similar videos and photos to suggest possible presentations.

Redshift Astronomy

Photo Credit: USM

Redshift Astronomy ($9.99) — It's a big universe out there — and if you want to get a sense of the stars and planets in it, it helps to have a big screen. Redshift makes it easier to identify celestial bodies by simply holding the screen toward the sky. The stars, planets and constellations you're pointing the iPad toward will be named and labeled, and you can click through for more information. The app will also point out any satellites and spacecraft that pass by as well.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Photo Credit: Blizzard Entertainment

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (Free) — All work and no play makes your tablet a dull piece of technology. Blizzard Entertainment's "Hearthstone" is an enormously addicting and incredibly fun collectible card game that is based on the company's hit "Warcraft" universe. You'll play cards against opponents, casting spells and summoning monsters, then reaping the rewards. To date, the game has attracted more than 50 million players.


Photo Credit: Netflix

Netflix (Free) If you do even a fair bit of traveling, you'll quickly learn to take your iPad with you on every trip, giving you an array of in-flight (or in-hotel) entertainment. And the larger screen is ideal for watching movies or any of Netflix's self-produced programs. And now that the service is letting users watch programs offline, it makes the iPad an even more essential travel tool.


Photo Credit: TripIt

TripIt (Free) — Speaking of traveling with an iPad, it helps to have all of your trip's details in one place. TripIt not only stores the information, but will alert you to things like gate changes and delays, and have all of your confirmation numbers in a single place. It will also help you search for things like airport lounges, alternate flights and even better seats.


Photo Credit: Apple

Keynote ($9.99) — Built specifically for iPad, this presentation software underscores what a powerful business tool the device can be. You'll have the animated charts and cinematic transitions you're used to from any presentation software, but the addition of touchscreen elements makes them more engaging. Create your own template or choose from one of Apple's 30 included themes.

Microsoft Word

Photo Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft Word (Free) — Even if you work in the Apple ecosystem, you're likely going to have to share files with people in the Windows world with some frequency. Microsoft Word, for better or worse, is the de facto word processing program of the business world, so while it's hardly glamorous, it's an app that's worth installing on your iPad if you plan on doing any sort of work on it.


Photo Credit: uMake

uMake (Free) — Software to design 3-D images used to cost thousands of dollars. Today, you can get it for free. uMake lets you sketch ideas in a 3-D space, enhancing your designs. It's not just for experts, either. The app comes with several tutorials to get newcomers up to speed. Professionals, meanwhile, can upgrade to the Pro version for $9.99 per month and import files up to 25 MB and export in several formats the layman wouldn't need.


Photo Credit: Shenzhen Youmi Information Technology Co. Ltd

FileMaster (Free) — A good file manager app is always worthwhile, and it's hard to go wrong with FileMaster. It not only helps you organize the contents of your iPad, it lets you apply a password to any given app or folder, adding an additional layer of privacy. You can also set up Wi-Fi authentication, ensuring that those protected files can only accessed when you're on your local network.